1 Observatory Circle: The history behind the vice president’s house

A home for the country's second-in-command (WTOP's Rachel Nania)

WASHINGTON Ask most Americans where the president lives and they’ll tell you, “the White House.” Ask them where the vice president lives and the answer may not carry the same level of confidence.

“I got, ‘The West Wing;’ I got, ‘The basement of the White House;’ I got, ‘I don’t know;’ I got, ‘Is this a trick question?’” said historian Charles Denyer, who tested the public’s knowledge on the vice president’s residence before the publication of his book, “Number One Observatory Circle: The Home of the Vice President of the United States.”

“It’s a deer-in-the-headlights look.”

Since 1977, the vice president has lived on the grounds of the 72-acre U.S. Naval Observatory, just off Massachusetts Avenue in Northwest D.C. Before then, it was anyone’s best guess.

G23171-23  Vice President and Mrs. Bush at the Vice President's home at the Naval Observatory the day after the VP wins the election.
09 November 1988
Photo Credit:  George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President and Mrs. Bush at the vice president’s home at the Naval Observatory. (Courtesy George Bush Presidential Library and Museum) (Photo Credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum)
Vice President Gerald Ford gets a wave from his wife Betty early Friday as he left their home in Alexandria on Dec. 7, 1973.  It will be his first full day in his new position following formal swearing in ceremonies on Thursday evening in the House of Representatives chamber. (AP Photo)
Vice President Gerald Ford gets a wave from his wife early Friday as he left their home in Alexandria, Virginia, on Dec. 7, 1973. It will be his first full day in his new position following formal swearing in ceremonies on Thursday evening in the House of Representatives chamber. (AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Bob Daugherty)
President-elect Bush, left, meets with Vice President Al Gore in the living room of the vice presidential residence in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2000. Tuesday's fireside talk lasted just 15 minutes, hardly long enough to close the breach opened during a hard-fought campaign and rancorous postelection tussle.(AP Photo/Doug Mills, POOL)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — President-elect Bush, left, meets with Vice President Al Gore in the living room of the vice presidential residence in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2000. (AP Photo/Doug Mills, POOL) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/DOUG MILLS)
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden pose for a photograph with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife Karen after they had lunch at the Vice President's residence, the Naval Observatory, in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden pose for a photograph with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, after they had lunch at the vice president’s residence, the Naval Observatory, in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) (AP/Cliff Owen)
Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Vice President-elect Mike Pence after they had lunch at the Vice President's residence, the Naval Observatory, in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Vice President-elect Mike Pence after they had lunch at the vice president’s residence, the Naval Observatory. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen) (AP/Cliff Owen)
Vice President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush relax at the Vice President's mansion in August 1982.

Photograph by Dennis Brack BBBs 20
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush relax at the vice president’s mansion in August 1982. (Photograph by Dennis Brack) (Dennis Brack bs20)
Vice President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush relax at the Vice President's mansion in August 1982.

Photograph by Dennis Brack BBBs 20
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush relax at the vice president’s mansion in August 1982. (Photograph by Dennis Brack) (Dennis Brack bs20)
V09718-10A  Vice President and Mrs. Quayle participate in an interview with Barbara Walters at the Vice President's Mansion.
26 September 1991
Photo Credit:  George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President and Mrs. Quayle participate in an interview with Barbara Walters at the vice president’s mansion, September 1991. (Photo Credit: George Bush Presidential Library and Museum)
G23234-05  President-elect Bush meets with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the Vice President's residence.
17 November 1988
Photo credit:  David Valdez
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — President-elect Bush meets with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the vice president’s residence, November 1988. (Photo credit: David Valdez)
Vice President George Bush, left, walks with his running Sen. Dan Quayle of Indiana, prior to a lunch Bush gave for Quayle and their families at the vice president’s residence in Washington on Sept. 11, 1988. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President George Bush, left, walks with his running Sen. Dan Quayle of Indiana, before a lunch Bush gave for Quayle and their families at the vice president’’s residence, Sept. 11, 1988. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Charles Tasnadi)
Marilyn Quayle, wife of Vice President Dan Quayle, hands out treats to children at the Vice Presidential residence in Washington  Saturday, Oct. 31, 1992. Quayle welcomed trick or treaters to the home, while her husband spent the day campaigning. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Marilyn Quayle, wife of Vice President Dan Quayle, hands out treats to children at the vice presidential residence. Quayle welcomed trick-or-treaters to the home, while her husband spent the day campaigning. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Dennis Cook)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 31:  In this handout photo provided by The White House,Vice President Dick Cheney's Labrador retrievers Jackson (L) and Dave sit for photos at the Vice President's Residence at the Naval Observatory dressed for Halloween October 31, 2007 in Washington, D.C.  (Photo by David Bohrer/The White House via Getty Images)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — In this handout photo provided by The White House, Vice President Dick Cheney’s Labrador retrievers, Jackson (L) and Dave, sit for photos at the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory dressed for Halloween, Oct. 31, 2007. (Photo by David Bohrer/The White House via Getty Images) (Getty Images/Handout)
Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, talks about her new book "Blue Skies, No Fences,"  Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007, at the vice president's residence in Washington. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, talks about her new book “Blue Skies, No Fences,” Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007, at the vice president’s residence in Washington. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson) (AP/Lawrence Jackson)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 01: Vice President Dick Cheney photographed from 1975 to 2006 in Washington, DC. Pictured: Vice President Dick Cheney reaches out to granddaughter Elizabeth at the VP residence as Lynne Cheney watches on January 21, 2001.  (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Contour by Getty Images)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President Dick Cheney reaches out to granddaughter Elizabeth at the vice president’s residence as Lynne Cheney watches on, Jan. 21, 2001. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Contour by Getty Images) (Contour by Getty Images/David Hume Kennerly)
WASHINGTON, :  US Vice President Al Gore (R) celebrates scoring a touchdown as daughters Kristin (C) and Karenna (L) walk away during a touch football game with family members 10 November 2000 at the Vice President's residence in Washington, DC. Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush are still waiting for results of the Florida vote count to determine the next US president.   AFP PHOTO/Joyce NALTCHAYAN (Photo credit should read JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President Al Gore (R) celebrates scoring a touchdown as daughters Kristin (C) and Karenna (L) walk away during a touch football game with family members Nov. 10, 2000 at the vice president’s residence. (JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images) (AFP/Getty Images/JOYCE NALTCHAYAN)
April 23, 2014
"David Lienemann captured the filming of a scene from the HBO show 'Veep' with the real Vice President and the TV Vice President, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, near the gate at the Naval Observatory Residence in Washington, D.C." 
(Official White House Photo by David Lienemann) /SIPA_1129.40/Credit:David Lienemann/The White/SIPA/1412311155 (Sipa via AP Images)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — “David Lienemann captured the filming of a scene from the HBO show “Veep” with the real Vice President Joe Biden and actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus near the gate at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann, Sipa via AP Images) (David Lienemann/The White/SIPA/David Lienemann/The White/SIPA)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 15:  U.S. Vice President Joe Biden steps onto the front porch of his residence before welcoming President Park Geun-hye of South Korea to the Naval Observatory for lunch October 15, 2015 in Washington, DC. Park, South Korea's first female president, met with Biden and will visit the White House Friday for a meeting with President Barack Obama, where the two leaders are expected to talk about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — U.S. Vice President Joe Biden steps onto the front porch of his residence before welcoming President Park Geun-hye of South Korea to the Naval Observatory for lunch Oct. 15, 2015. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
WASHINGTON , DC - JUNE 5: Vice President Joe Biden after his wife, Jill, launched a super soaker attack at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC on June 5, 2010. (Photo by Roxanne Roberts/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President Joe Biden and wife, Jill, launched a super soaker attack at the Naval Observatory on June 5, 2010. (Photo by Roxanne Roberts/The Washington Post via Getty Images) (Washington Post/Getty Images/The Washington Post)
President Jimmy Carter reaches for an ornament from daughter Amy as he poses with Vice President Walter Mondale, left, First Lady Rosalynn Carter, second from left, and Joan Mondale in front of the Mondale’s Christmas tree at the Vice President’s residence in Washington on Sunday, Dec. 18, 1977. The Carters had dinner with the Vice  President and his wife. (AP Photo)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — President Jimmy Carter reaches for an ornament from daughter Amy as he poses with Vice President Walter Mondale, left, First Lady Rosalynn Carter, second from left, and Joan Mondale in front of the Mondale’’s Christmas tree at the vice president’’s residence on Sunday, Dec. 18, 1977. (AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Vice President Walter Mondale, carrying his coat on a hot day in the capital, arrives at his official residence after what he called "a typical day" at his offices in the White House and in the Executive Office Building next door, Monday, July 19, 1977 in Washington. (AP Photo)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — Vice President Walter Mondale, carrying his coat on a hot day in the capital, arrives at his official residence after what he called “a typical day” at his offices in the White House and in the Executive Office Building next door. (AP Photo) (Associated Press)
U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale lifts his Thanks Giving turkey from the broiler, Thursday, Nov.11, 1977 in the kitchen of his Washington residence. "Every Thanksgiving," Mondale stated, "I make the turkey and let my wife sleep." (AP Photo)
From Charles Denyer’s “Number One Observatory Circle” — U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale lifts his Thanksgiving turkey from the broiler, Thursday, Nov. 11, 1977, in the kitchen of his residence. “Every Thanksgiving,” Mondale stated, “I make the turkey and let my wife sleep.” (AP Photo) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
The vice president's residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington is shown in a Nov. 11, 2000 photo. Settling in on the hill once known as Pretty Prospect, the Cheneys have put their own stamp on the white brick Victorian. (AP Photo/J Scott Applewhite)
The vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. is shown in a Nov. 11, 2000 photo. Settling in on the hill once known as Pretty Prospect, the Cheneys have put their own stamp on the white brick Victorian. (AP Photo/J Scott Applewhite) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/J SCOTT APPLEWHITE)
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden host a barbeque for wounded service members from Walter Reed Army Medical Center outpatients and their families at the Vice President's residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Tuesday, May 25, 2010. The service members currently reside at the Mologne House, which offers housing for patients and their families while they undergo rehabilitation and treatment. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden host a barbecue for wounded service members from Walter Reed Army Medical Center outpatients and their families at the vice president’s residence at the Naval Observatory May 25, 2010. The pool at the vice president’s residence was built during Dan Quayle’s time in office. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Charles Dharapak)
Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden opens their new home at the U.S. Naval Observatory, to elementary school children from across the D.C. area, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, opens their new home at the U.S. Naval Observatory, to elementary school children from across the D.C. area, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Lawrence Jackson)
Vice President Joe Biden is seen standing in front of his residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, as President Barack Obama arrives at a dinner he is hosting for Republican senators. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Vice President Joe Biden is seen standing in front of his residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, as President Barack Obama arrives at a dinner he is hosting for Republican senators. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) (AP/Charles Dharapak)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: A swing hangs from a tree at the Vice President's home at the Naval Observatory, on November 16, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
A swing hangs from a tree at the vice president’s home at the Naval Observatory. The swing has become a somewhat iconic symbol of the residence. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
Bees fly around a new beehive placed at the vice president's residence, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Washington.  It is a triple-deep “Langstroth” beehive and contains almost 20,000 bees and continues to grow. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Bees fly around a new beehive placed at the vice president’s residence, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Washington. It is a triple-deep “Langstroth” beehive and contains almost 20,000 bees and continues to grow. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP/Alex Brandon)
(1/27)
G23171-23  Vice President and Mrs. Bush at the Vice President's home at the Naval Observatory the day after the VP wins the election.
09 November 1988
Photo Credit:  George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
Vice President Gerald Ford gets a wave from his wife Betty early Friday as he left their home in Alexandria on Dec. 7, 1973.  It will be his first full day in his new position following formal swearing in ceremonies on Thursday evening in the House of Representatives chamber. (AP Photo)
President-elect Bush, left, meets with Vice President Al Gore in the living room of the vice presidential residence in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2000. Tuesday's fireside talk lasted just 15 minutes, hardly long enough to close the breach opened during a hard-fought campaign and rancorous postelection tussle.(AP Photo/Doug Mills, POOL)
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden pose for a photograph with Vice President-elect Mike Pence and his wife Karen after they had lunch at the Vice President's residence, the Naval Observatory, in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Vice President Joe Biden shakes hands with Vice President-elect Mike Pence after they had lunch at the Vice President's residence, the Naval Observatory, in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
Vice President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush relax at the Vice President's mansion in August 1982.

Photograph by Dennis Brack BBBs 20
Vice President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush relax at the Vice President's mansion in August 1982.

Photograph by Dennis Brack BBBs 20
V09718-10A  Vice President and Mrs. Quayle participate in an interview with Barbara Walters at the Vice President's Mansion.
26 September 1991
Photo Credit:  George Bush Presidential Library and Museum
G23234-05  President-elect Bush meets with British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher at the Vice President's residence.
17 November 1988
Photo credit:  David Valdez
Vice President George Bush, left, walks with his running Sen. Dan Quayle of Indiana, prior to a lunch Bush gave for Quayle and their families at the vice president’s residence in Washington on Sept. 11, 1988. (AP Photo/Charles Tasnadi)
Marilyn Quayle, wife of Vice President Dan Quayle, hands out treats to children at the Vice Presidential residence in Washington  Saturday, Oct. 31, 1992. Quayle welcomed trick or treaters to the home, while her husband spent the day campaigning. (AP Photo/Dennis Cook)
WASHINGTON - OCTOBER 31:  In this handout photo provided by The White House,Vice President Dick Cheney's Labrador retrievers Jackson (L) and Dave sit for photos at the Vice President's Residence at the Naval Observatory dressed for Halloween October 31, 2007 in Washington, D.C.  (Photo by David Bohrer/The White House via Getty Images)
Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, talks about her new book "Blue Skies, No Fences,"  Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2007, at the vice president's residence in Washington. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 01: Vice President Dick Cheney photographed from 1975 to 2006 in Washington, DC. Pictured: Vice President Dick Cheney reaches out to granddaughter Elizabeth at the VP residence as Lynne Cheney watches on January 21, 2001.  (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Contour by Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, :  US Vice President Al Gore (R) celebrates scoring a touchdown as daughters Kristin (C) and Karenna (L) walk away during a touch football game with family members 10 November 2000 at the Vice President's residence in Washington, DC. Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush are still waiting for results of the Florida vote count to determine the next US president.   AFP PHOTO/Joyce NALTCHAYAN (Photo credit should read JOYCE NALTCHAYAN/AFP/Getty Images)
April 23, 2014
"David Lienemann captured the filming of a scene from the HBO show 'Veep' with the real Vice President and the TV Vice President, actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, near the gate at the Naval Observatory Residence in Washington, D.C." 
(Official White House Photo by David Lienemann) /SIPA_1129.40/Credit:David Lienemann/The White/SIPA/1412311155 (Sipa via AP Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 15:  U.S. Vice President Joe Biden steps onto the front porch of his residence before welcoming President Park Geun-hye of South Korea to the Naval Observatory for lunch October 15, 2015 in Washington, DC. Park, South Korea's first female president, met with Biden and will visit the White House Friday for a meeting with President Barack Obama, where the two leaders are expected to talk about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON , DC - JUNE 5: Vice President Joe Biden after his wife, Jill, launched a super soaker attack at the Naval Observatory in Washington, DC on June 5, 2010. (Photo by Roxanne Roberts/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
President Jimmy Carter reaches for an ornament from daughter Amy as he poses with Vice President Walter Mondale, left, First Lady Rosalynn Carter, second from left, and Joan Mondale in front of the Mondale’s Christmas tree at the Vice President’s residence in Washington on Sunday, Dec. 18, 1977. The Carters had dinner with the Vice  President and his wife. (AP Photo)
Vice President Walter Mondale, carrying his coat on a hot day in the capital, arrives at his official residence after what he called "a typical day" at his offices in the White House and in the Executive Office Building next door, Monday, July 19, 1977 in Washington. (AP Photo)
U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale lifts his Thanks Giving turkey from the broiler, Thursday, Nov.11, 1977 in the kitchen of his Washington residence. "Every Thanksgiving," Mondale stated, "I make the turkey and let my wife sleep." (AP Photo)
The vice president's residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington is shown in a Nov. 11, 2000 photo. Settling in on the hill once known as Pretty Prospect, the Cheneys have put their own stamp on the white brick Victorian. (AP Photo/J Scott Applewhite)
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden host a barbeque for wounded service members from Walter Reed Army Medical Center outpatients and their families at the Vice President's residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Tuesday, May 25, 2010. The service members currently reside at the Mologne House, which offers housing for patients and their families while they undergo rehabilitation and treatment. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden opens their new home at the U.S. Naval Observatory, to elementary school children from across the D.C. area, Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009, in Washington. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
Vice President Joe Biden is seen standing in front of his residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013, as President Barack Obama arrives at a dinner he is hosting for Republican senators. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: A swing hangs from a tree at the Vice President's home at the Naval Observatory, on November 16, 2016 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Bees fly around a new beehive placed at the vice president's residence, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Washington.  It is a triple-deep “Langstroth” beehive and contains almost 20,000 bees and continues to grow. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Vice President Harry Truman lived in a small apartment at 4701 Connecticut Ave. NW in D.C.’s Van Ness neighborhood. Similarly, Vice President Spiro Agnew lived in Woodley Park’s Wardman Tower.

Hubert Humphrey resided in Chevy Chase, Maryland, during his vice presidency, and Gerald Ford remained in his Alexandria, Virginia, home after being sworn in as Richard Nixon’s vice president.

“Literally, that next day the Secret Service was busy putting in reinforced concrete on the driveway for the armored limousine to park there, all of his normal windows were replaced with bulletproof windows, and once again, the Secret Service moved in and took over his entire garage,” Denyer said.

The growing costs and concerns associated with protecting the vice president and the second family finally spurred Congress to name an official residence for the country’s second-in-command. A few weeks before resigning, President Nixon signed a law designating a 9,000-square-foot house at 1 Observatory Circle to be the home of the Vice President of the United States. Walter Mondale was the first vice president to move in.

However, 1 Observatory Circle, formerly the home to the chief of Naval operations, was only meant to be a temporary home for the country’s vice presidents until official headquarters were built. But construction never happened, and Denyer said it likely won’t. The government has invested too much money and infrastructure securing the 19th century dwelling.

“Because of that, I don’t think anyone foresees the vice president leaving any time soon. I think that is the official residence; they’ve grown accustomed to it, it’s a tradition. To move a vice president to another location would be just massive,” Denyer added.

Unlike the White House, the vice president’s house is not open to the public; only invited guests are able to tour the home. But in his book, Denyer gives readers a glimpse inside its rooms and details some of the mansion’s more memorable events both official and private.

When Vice President Mondale was out of town, his teenage children invited friends over. Not realizing the degree of security involved when visiting, these friends jumped the fence to get to the doorbell.

“Next thing you know, they’re all spread eagle on the ground from the U.S. Secret Service. They just think they’re going over to someone’s house in Northwest D.C.,” Denyer said.

Over the years, second ladies have added personal touches to the home’s décor, and Tipper Gore spent much of her time building an electronic inventory of all the official household items passed down from administration to administration.

Dan Quayle built the home’s swimming pool a feature Joe Biden’s grandchildren loved — while the Cheneys renovated the upstairs exercise room.

Denyer said he hopes his 260-page, photo-filled book will “shed some light on a home that not too many people know about.”

“It’s a really unique scenario, to the point that it almost became embarrassing that [we’re] the greatest power on the face of the earth and the second-in-command didn’t even have a home,” he said.


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